Politics and policy
Treasury pledges Sh100m for water tower
Posted Wednesday, June 13 2012 at 19:07
Construction of a 400km electric fence around Mt Kenya at a cost of Sh1 billion is set to begin this month after the Treasury committed Sh100 million to the project.
The project that will take five years to complete is expected to save the water tower from encroachment.
“The Sh1 billion we will use to construct it is small compared to the economic benefit from the Mt Kenya ecosystem,” said Christian Lambrechts, the new executive director of Rhino Ark.
Rhino Ark which constructed the 400km electric fence around the Aberdares is also leading the Mt Kenya project. Experts project that the Mt Kenya ecosystem contributes more than Sh50 billion to the national economy annually.
The Aberdare Ranges was estimated to contribute over Sh56 billion annually to the economy by a recent survey.
The construction of the Mt Kenya and Mau fences will run concurrently.
The 50km Eburu fence (Mau) is expected to take 18 months and will cost about Sh100 million.
Fencing of the ecosystems is expected to improve the value of land by reducing the straying of wildlife into farmlands which causes loss of crops and lives.
“The value of land around the Aberdare fence increased threefold after completion of the fence,” said Mr Christian.
According to Mr Peter Kibuka who resides next to the fence, the problem of human wildlife conflict in the area has reduced. “Farmers are now able to move from subsistence to market oriented agriculture,” he said.
Apart from government and corporate funding, Rhino Ark is expected to raise the bulk of resources needed for the construction.